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More say SAFE-T Act changes are coming in veto session

Friday, Sep 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Center Square

A consensus is forming that there needs to be clarifications to the SAFE-T Act set to take effect in Illinois in the new year, but whether any changes will be substantive is still up in the air. […]

During a Springfield City Council meeting this week, city officials heard from lobbyist Art Turner about expectations that lawmakers will return in the fall session as early as the week after the Nov. 8 election to address various issues.

“It’s a lot around implementation, there’s just no real clarity around that and all parties on both sides are able to agree to that point,” Turner said. “I believe that that will be one of the top priorities for the veto session in November or scheduled early December. Then, we’re going to have to work really fast to bring our local clerks and courts and counties up to speed on the adjustments that I anticipate to be made behind it.” […]

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, who advocates for the law, acknowledged some changes are needed to clarify its implementation. But, he said all parties need to come together in good faith.

“The Democrats are working every day with advocates, with law enforcement to make sure that if there needs to be tweaks, we will tweak them before January,” Ford said. “But we will not roll back the entire SAFE-T Act.”

Former Rep. Art Turner was a major proponent of criminal justice reforms when he was in the House.

* Meanwhile, click here for the background if you need it. From Sen. Don Dewitte…

Rich,

I read your column on the blog [yesterday]. Needless to say, I’m disappointed in your characterization of my intentions regarding my petition effort. Had you called, I would have gladly referred you back to, and explained in detail, my press release from 2 weeks ago that spelled out my intentions with this petition effort. I’m guessing you chose not to refer back to it for more accurate background, or just never read it to begin with.

My only response at this point would be the following;

    1. When given the opportunity, I ALWAYS negotiate in good faith. I challenge you to find anyone in the Capitol (except perhaps Sen. Peters who thinks we’re all a lynch mob) who would suggest otherwise.
    2. The comment made to Alice Fabbre at the Daily Herald, was made responding to her reference to a current House bill that calls for a complete repeal of the entire SafeT Act.

My repeal petition is an effort to continue discussions on the problematic aspect of its implementation, based on input received from Police Chiefs, States Attorneys, and the Judiciary, with only Police Chiefs and Sheriffs asked to provide input during the Act’s creation, but were never seriously or responsibly included in negotiations with the Act’s authors.

[Pleasant personal aside redacted.]

Thanks,

Don DeWitte

I stand by the post.

* Didn’t Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow tell us that eliminating cash bail would bring the “end of days”? From the AP

More than two dozen people have been charged in Illinois with fraudulently obtaining pandemic relief money, with authorities alleging that some of them were behind bars when they used their relief money to post bond and free themselves from jail.

Joliet Police Chief William Evans said Wednesday that 25 people were part of the alleged fraud scheme to get Paycheck Protection Program checks while not operating actual businesses.

Fifteen of the defendants had been arrested by Wednesday, and arrest warrants were pending for 10 other people. They all face charges including wire fraud, theft and loan fraud, officials said.

Evans said each fraudulently obtained loan was for between $19,000 and $20,000, with the fraud costing taxpayers upwards of $500,000.

Investigators found that some of the defendants were inmates at the Will County Jail in Joliet, a Chicago suburb, when they applied for and received loans through the pandemic program, and then used the money to bond out of jail on their felony cases.

* From a Fox News interview with retired Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy

“Anybody can just make a complaint against an officer. The department or the investigating body does not have to tell the officer who it is, which hinders their ability to respond to the complaint accurately and honestly. It has a bad effect on morale.”

The police routinely and actively solicit and encourage anonymous tips, including paying cash rewards. I mean, have they never heard of Crimestoppers?

* More…

* Truth Test: Will ending cash bail in Illinois cause a rise in crime?: The Illinois GOP added that in New York “as a direct result of the new bail law, 20.1% of ‘felony arraignments’ were rearrested in 2021, with 16.1% failing to appear at arraignment.”’ However, [Insha Rahman, Vice President of Advocacy and Partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonpartisan, pro-bail reform group in New York City] said the Illinois GOP statement is “inaccurate” and lacks context. She sees it as an attempt to score “cheap points” by “fear-mongering.” “They (the Illinois GOP) didn’t actually name what the appearance rates and rearrest rates were before bail reform, and they didn’t name from what period or how they are picking that data,” Rahman said. “Failing to appear at arraignments is not a measure anyone tracks in NYS (New York state) courts. Arraignment is the first court appearance following an arrest.”

* State’s Attorneys Representing 3 Illinois Counties File Lawsuits Against SAFE-T Act: [ McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally’s] lawsuit also alleges that the SAFE-T Act undermines a constitutional amendment that requires judges to consider a victims’ safety and wellbeing when setting bail. [Sen. Elgie Sims], however, said the SAFE-T Act will make a “marked” difference for victims as some victims’ rights groups have attested to. For example, by ensuring that someone convicted of domestic violence isn’t released just because they’ve got the cash to get out of jail. Sims says these lawsuits are a waste of taxpayer money.

* Jersey County files suit over cash bail change: “We have been working on diplomatic solutions with key legislators to try and fix some of the most dangerous aspects of this act,” he said. “Lawmakers need to understand we prefer to work together on a legislative fix.”

       

23 Comments »
  1. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    I’m not sure the gratuitous swipe at Senator Peters is really great evidence of wanting to negotiate in good faith.

    Regardless, if there’s a conflict between what you’re saying to your constituents and what you’re saying to your colleagues, that’s unsustainable, and you should usually guess on what you say in public winning out.


  2. - H-W - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    Clearly, a lot of people are afraid of the future. Many others are being led by those who are afraid, to fear the future.

    Q.E.D. What? We should all be afraid of something that does not exist?


  3. - One Trick Pony - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    “Police Chiefs and Sheriffs asked to provide input during the Act’s creation, but were never seriously or responsibly included in negotiations”

    Not sure if this is accurate. They (law enforcement) simply wanted the bill killed. They never wanted to provide “input”. However, I would make it public that they are invited to the table on the changes. If they don’t show up or simply say we wanted it killed again that’s on them again for not participating in the process.


  4. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    Have we ever seen the criminal justice system embrace attempts to curtail it’s power? Glasgow all but made clear that he views those that are charged as guilty until proven innocent and wants to have complete discretion over who he can detain. Wasn’t the legalization of cannabis also supposed to bring the “end of days” as well? Still waiting for that to happen.


  5. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:23 am:

    Sen. Dewitt’s email updates contain the same fear-mongering that the rest of the current version of the IL Republican Party is using. Heck, Kane County’s Democratic SA and sheriff are doing it too.

    The SAFE-T Act sausage isn’t done being made, but the door is open on the kitchen.


  6. - Leap Day William - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    == Have we ever seen the criminal justice system embrace attempts to curtail it’s power? Glasgow all but made clear that he views those that are charged as guilty until proven innocent and wants to have complete discretion over who he can detain. Wasn’t the legalization of cannabis also supposed to bring the “end of days” as well? Still waiting for that to happen. ==

    It’s brought the “end of days” to many a bag of Doritos in this house.

    I find it most disappointing when the same people who complain about the SAFE-T act “letting the criminals run loose” are the same ones who complain about those same accused bailing themselves out *right now*, complain when a plea deal is struck that results in probation (and thereby saving the county a pile of money on doing a trial), and REALLY complain when a trial actually gets to a jury and the accused is acquitted. Guilty until proven innocent, indeed. I truly hope nobody they know and love ever finds themselves in a bad situation with the law.


  7. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    Free advice to my friends in law enforcement and the state’s attorneys: I think it would be helpful if there was a unanimous sentiment to follow Bob Berlin and clearly say that the end of cash bail is a good thing.

    SA Berlin has been clear (especially over the summer) that he doesn’t oppose risk-based bail over wealth-based bail. He has some tweaks and suggestions.

    The other SAs have not been so clear. And that allows for things like the Proft Papers with a far muddier message.

    Just a little advice to help lower the temperature during campaign season. The lawsuits which essentially seem to say “bring back wealth-based bail” do not help. Perhaps if the other SAs that just want their tweaks and clarifications within risk-based bail make that point more clearly, the gap between current law and traditional law enforcement improved law isn’t really that large.

    (Then again, if lots of SAs are really for wealth-based bail, then it’s back to an unhelpful stalemate).


  8. - vern - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:41 am:

    Re: DeWitte, +1 to what Arsenal said. Picking one of the most diligent Senators totally undermines his insistence on good faith. And, despite his highly venomous tone, he didn’t actually say anything that contradicted your post.

    As for Glasgow, that story should be the end for him being quoted on cash bail. If his own county’s jail can’t stop inmates from committing new crimes to fund their bail, the system is clearly not working.


  9. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:48 am:

    “The department or the investigating body does not have to tell the officer who it is, which hinders their ability to respond to the complaint accurately and honestly.”

    Nobody who has ever interacted with Chicago police in real life, rather than through a TV set, is going believe this is really their concern. They’re free to stop lying to the public any time they feel up to it. Might help them with their recruiting problems.


  10. - prariepolice - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    Deflect much Rich? Equating Crimestoppers and an anon complaint against and Officer is like apples and oranges. You delete posts you do not like. You cannot delete a complaint against an Officer. I get you have and anti police agenda. You could do better, but you do not.


  11. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    === You cannot delete a complaint against an Officer.===

    You’re saying people who tip off police can delete that tip? I never knew that. How does that work?


  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 10:59 am:

    ===You delete posts you do not like. You cannot delete a complaint against an Officer===

    LOL

    You’re really equating the two?

    Bite me.


  13. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    =I get you have and anti police agenda. You could do better, but you do not.=

    Why is it that the people who want police held accountable are anti-police? If you believe a corrupt politician should be held accountable does that make you anti-government?


  14. - Lakefront - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    == Re: DeWitte, +1 to what Arsenal said. Picking one of the most diligent Senators totally undermines his insistence on good faith. And, despite his highly venomous tone…==

    Really? Look at yesterday’s post. Senator Peters openly accused Senator DeWitte of “siding with the worst elements” of his party. How is that true? DeWitte has done no such thing. He endorsed Richard Irvin for crying out loud.


  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    –changes are needed to clarify its implementation–

    Clarify. This is the core issue here. The opponents are feigning ignorance about how the law is to be implemented, and using that ignorance to claim the law must be bad.

    It is starting to get tiresome listening to people who are openly proclaiming they are unable to understand how to do their job, and that the entire legislature has to dumb it down for them with clarifications.

    Meanwhile, because of this I’ve learned that my SA has no idea how to do his job, and thinks people are guilty until proven innocent.

    The state AG can always issue a consent decree to all SAs, if they still need their hands held on how to read the law. Because right now I do not get the sense that any of these SAs are acting in good faith, and they should be treated accordingly.


  16. - Steve Polite - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    My “repeal” petition

    His title defies his explanation.

    Repeal: to revoke or annul (a law, tax, duty, etc.) by express legislative enactment; abrogate. - Dictionary.com


  17. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:17 am:

    “changes are needed to clarify its implementation ”

    That’s a fancy way of saying the Safe-T act is polling terribly.


  18. - vern - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    === How is that true?===

    The use of the words “lynch mob” in this context would be exhibit A. And as others have pointed out above, DeWitte has the option of communicating on this issue like Bob Berlin, who has struck a moderate tone, acknowledged the limits of wealth bail, and proposed specific tweaks. DeWitte decided to go the Proft/Bailey route instead. His support of Irvin in the primary doesn’t insulate him from criticism on, well, anything really.


  19. - H-W - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    @ PriariePolice - as you should know, there are times when it is appropriate for individuals to be allowed to make anonymous reports and claims against other individuals. SAFET-Act and Crimestoppers and Sexual Assault and Racial Discrimination claims all follow the same logic.

    When there is a clear and present power imbalance, in which the claimant has a reasonable fear of retaliation, our governments have routinely allowed for anonymity in the making of claims against more powerful persons. This is done to prevent retaliation. Any suggestion that a citizen cannot make an anonymous report of criminal activity only guarantees that fewer claims will be made. In the event a claim is false, there are always ways of addressing the anonymous claimant. But not allowing anonymity only empowers the powerful. You should already know this.


  20. - Jerry - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    -Wasn’t the legalization of cannabis also supposed to bring the “end of days” as well? Still waiting for that to happen.-

    The only that happened after the legalization of cannabis was an increase in nacho cheese tortilla chip and cola sales!


  21. - Walker - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Simple case of a politician performing for his potential voters waving a “black or white” flag, while being willing to deal in grays while in the legislature. These petitions as campaign materials are too common to be of much predictive value for anyone.


  22. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    This is ridiculous. Anyone who has spent any time around the GA knows Don DeWitte is a bipartisan worker. He proved it when he worked hand-in-hand with Marty Sandoval to piece together and win bipartisan support for the multibillion dollar construction program.

    https://apnews.com/article/archive-springfield-c517f939a3cb42649181244cf284f373


  23. - SB - Friday, Sep 23, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    It’s amazing to watch Dewitte flip flop in real time. Figure it out, bud.


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